Travel brings power and love back into your life. – Rumi
When you become an ex-pat, you learn a few things about traveling. One of the biggest things you learn is how to avoid getting sick. I used to get sick every. single. time I went anywhere. The low point came when I was lying in a hammock in Grenada praying – literally praying – that my husband would be able to find cold medicine at the IGA.
Over the 18 years I have been en ex-pat, I have learned or come up with a number of remedies and solutions for healthier, happier traveling, so I thought I would share them with you. If I can save anyone else a snot-filled or jet-lag-clouded holiday, it will be worth it.
(Please note: there are no guarantees in this post, and I am not a Doctor or health professional of any kind. I am just sharing what works for me. If you choose to try these, it’s at your own risk!)
12 Ways to Have a Healthy, Happy Trip
- Bring a small package of anti-bacterial wipes. When you first sit down in your seat on the airplane (or train, bus, whatever), wipe EVERYTHING you might touch – especially the underside of things – and every inch of the tray, screen, buttons, armrest, window shade, seatbelt, etc. Whenever you go to the loo, take the wipes with you and wipe down anything you might touch. It sounds like a pain, but since starting this ritual I have not been sick after traveling. Not once.
- Pre-book your special meal or seats as soon as you can! I always choose aisle seats so i can walk around.
- Check in online as soon as you can. You avoid the long check-in lines, you don’t have to worry quite so much about being at the airport so early, and you have one thing done in the comfort of your home.
- Bring a bag of fluids. Include: eye drops, lip balm, Rescue Remedy or similar, gum or a tiny toothpaste, moisturiser and eye cream. It will make you feel like a whole new human if you use them all an hour or less before you land. (I used to also always carry a Lotus Wei Elixir of Divine Love or Pure Energy but I can’t get them in Costa Rica. They are brilliant for keeping you clear and centred.)
- Bring several packs of tissues. Bonus points for tissues with lotion. Airplane bathrooms always run out and if you get a runny nose, you’ll be glad you have them!
- Bring a sleep kit. I carry an eye mask, wax earplugs (I have found they muffle the sounds the best) and two (yes, two) neck pillows (one inflatable, one stuffed). It has meant I can always sleep on planes, no matter how the seat works, where in the cabin I am, or when they decide to turn off the lights.
- Pack layers and underwear in your carry-on. In fact, if you can, only bring a carry-on. But if you need more luggage, make sure you have a few warm layers with you and a clean pair of knickers.
- Take your vitamins. Again, I am not a doctor, so I am not prescribing anything, but when I get my meal on the plane I take a magnesium, a zinc, and a vitamin c supplement. The reasons for the last two are obvious, but since taking magnesium I rarely get twitchy legs. I have also newly discovered the herb Tripala. If I take one before bed on the night I arrive, things ‘move’ much more easily in the morning.
- Get up and walk and hydrate like it is your job. Don’t drink booze, don’t eat the salty snacks, and drink, drink, drink.
- Treat Yourself. Pack healthy snacks that make you feel nourished, buy some fun magazines, a novel that feels like a treat and a bottle of water at the airport. Flying is such a privilege. Try to make the trip feel decadent.
- Lots of people swear by Melatonin for a few days before and after a flight. Do your own research and see if it might be for you. (It makes my dreams so crazy, it defeats its own purpose and I can’t sleep.)
- Let the earth find you again. I absolutely swear by going barefoot in the grass or dirt or sand as soon as I possibly can after I land. It may sound crazy, but I was told that once you’ve been out of contact with the earth for awhile, you need to help it find you again. When I spend 15 minutes outside in my bare feet, my jet lag is so much better than if I don’t (in Canada at Christmas for example!)So there you go – happy travels tips. Do you have any to add?